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Mon, June 01

National Park Service suspends Canyon river trips, operations

River runners take a break on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The National Park Service has suspended all river trips at Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo/NPS)

River runners take a break on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The National Park Service has suspended all river trips at Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Photo/NPS)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Grand Canyon National Park announced modifications to river operations March 24, suspending all Grand Canyon river rafting trips including administrative, research, private and commercial trips through May 21.

“Resumption of river trips will be evaluated in mid-April pending current CDC guidance and options to reschedule trips will be provided at a future date,” the announcement read.

River Runners for Wilderness, an organization for all river runners dedicated to the Wilderness Colorado River and its tributaries stated in a recent Riverwire that the short notice was very disruptive to the self-guided river running community.

“The very short notice provided by Grand Canyon National Park to self-guided river trips that their trips are cancelled has caused chaos among the river gear rental companies in Flagstaff and their clients across the country and in transit,” the wire stated.

River Runners for Wilderness stated that it was attempting to connect permit holders that have space on their trips and are still launching on March 22 and 23 with trip participants in Flagstaff or on their way to Flagstaff whose permit holders have canceled their trip.

The National Park Service said the announcement was consistent with other river operation suspensions region wide, within National Park Service units located within Department of Interior Regions 6, 7, and 8. These regions include Big Bend National Park & Rio Grande Wild & Scenic River (Texas), Canyonlands National Park (Utah), Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado) and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Arizona and Utah).

Information provided by Grand Canyon National Park

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